finally in the amex family

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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Vattené
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Location: US

Postby Vattené » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:42 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:The value of MR points varies so widely because the offerings available within different frequent flyer programs vary widely. Two different flights might each cost a fixed 25,000 points, for example, but the cash price of one might be $200 and another may be $600. So while all the MR transfer partners let you convert 1 MR point into one airline point, what one airline point will actually buy when you want to go from A to B on day C just differs so much. You might find that paying cash and saving your points is a better way to go.

For your upcoming trip, try to figure out which airline(s) you'll be using. If they aren't MR transfer partners, MR points won't do much good. I fly US Airways mostly, when I do fly, and they aren't in the program.

You might also read:http://creditcardforum.com/rewards/10370-any-good-frequent-flyer-programs.html

You can also look at the Arrival or Arrival+. I'm planning on just getting the no-AF version, since so much of my spending can get 5% cash back. And if you do put a lot of spending on an Amex and get good value of MR points (1.5 to 2 cents or more), the EDP's annual fee can easily be worth it.


Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to look into the trip more (it is a couple years away, so all I've done at this point is save up some money for it).
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now


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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:53 pm

Vattené wrote:Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to look into the trip more (it is a couple years away, so all I've done at this point is save up some money for it).


The thing that would make me uneasy, were I in your shoes, would be that the MR partners change over time, as well as the FF programs themselves. I would not want to put a lot of spending on an MR card only to find out in 2016 that after 2017, the points weren't going to help me very much on a trip I had been planning to take in 2018. MR points work well for heavy travelers, because if they aren't useful for one flight, they can be useful on a different flight before too long. They can get consumed quickly, or they can be saved for a cheap flight to somewhere new and a bit random. It is hard to have a lot of confidence that MR points will be useful for going from A to B in year C when C is far in the future.

Now cash rewards, on the other hand, I can easily value, and I know exactly how useful they will be. I will always take $1 today over $1 in 2018. There is no incentive to try to get the timing just right, and no risk (apart from general inflation) that the $1 will decline in value. On the other hand, travel points can lose value when point prices of certain flights rise relative to cash prices. A flight that used to cost 25,000 points can be increased to 30,000 points fairly quickly.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

marlonbishop
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Location: Florida

Postby marlonbishop » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:09 pm

TY ! hoping that in 6 months i can get the gold!
BoA Cash Rewards $4000
Macy's $1000
Discover it $5000
Chase Sapphire Preferred $5000
Chase Freedom $2000
Amex Green NPSL
Amex Gold Premier Rewards NPSL

Find me on MyFico: Sapingo (if you see me say hello)!

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:21 pm

mb,

You probably will need to wait a year, unless you apply for a new account, as you'd be PCing to a card with a higher AF.

Why do you want the Gold instead of the Green? They are about the same, except for better roadside assistance, marginally better customer service, and maybe a few other random benefits. AAA is cheaper. Or is it more a status thing?

The approval criteria are about the same for Green and Gold - it's just a matter of balancing perks and benefits with the AF. Maybe they don't allow immediate changes between charge cards like they used to a year ago, but you could call and ask since it's so recent.

But why didn't you just apply right away for the Gold? You'd probably have gotten a better signup bonus.

I got the PRG before even applying for the BCE I wanted, which might not have been a brilliant move. I have already stopped using the PRG and will close it which will eventually hurt my AAoA, but at least I got a big MR bonus and won't pay an AF on it. When you PC, you'll pay more than necessary in annual fees.

Also, and I'm not positive on this, I don't think you get a special signup bonus on the higher-tier card when you get it through a PC, rather than an application for a new account.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

User avatar
Vattené
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Posts: 1157
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:55 am
Location: US

Postby Vattené » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:02 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:The thing that would make me uneasy, were I in your shoes, would be that the MR partners change over time, as well as the FF programs themselves. I would not want to put a lot of spending on an MR card only to find out in 2016 that after 2017, the points weren't going to help me very much on a trip I had been planning to take in 2018. MR points work well for heavy travelers, because if they aren't useful for one flight, they can be useful on a different flight before too long. They can get consumed quickly, or they can be saved for a cheap flight to somewhere new and a bit random. It is hard to have a lot of confidence that MR points will be useful for going from A to B in year C when C is far in the future.

Now cash rewards, on the other hand, I can easily value, and I know exactly how useful they will be. I will always take $1 today over $1 in 2018. There is no incentive to try to get the timing just right, and no risk (apart from general inflation) that the $1 will decline in value. On the other hand, travel points can lose value when point prices of certain flights rise relative to cash prices. A flight that used to cost 25,000 points can be increased to 30,000 points fairly quickly.

That is precisely why I went with Discover when I was in the market for my first major card. I wanted a cash back program because it was simpler than a points program and I had a better grasp of what I would be getting (well, also because I am not a frequent traveler so I knew it wouldn't be as beneficial). I'm really leaning towards the Blue Sky now just because it is basically a cash back program with a higher return on rewards that can only be used for travel.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

lexington
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:14 am
Location: orlando fl

Postby lexington » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:02 am

Online which is probably the issue. If I do decide to cancel before the annual fee, does this cause any harm as a normal cc would to your credit report? Also, will Amex also frown on this?
[size=80]Chase Slate CL-$4,000.00 |Chase Freedom CL-$5,000.00 | Discover IT CL$8,000 |Citi Diamond CL $8,000 | Citi Thank you CL $9,000 | AMEX Blue Sky CL- $6,500.00 | AMEX Premier Gold- No CL | B Of A Cash CL- $8,000.00 |
PenFed Promise CL- $12,000.00 |BMW Card CL $1,000 | |PenFed Rewards CL-$11.000.00 | Pen Fed Cash CL-$1,000.00 | Nav Fed Platinum CL $14,000.00 | Navy Federal Cash Rewards CL -$1,000.00| USAA Rate Advantage CL-$14,000.00 | B of A Travel CL-$4,000.00| B of A Cash CL-$8,000 | B of A Travel CL-$4,000|


[size=80]-Scores Experian-- 728 Trans 740 Eqiufax-750
-Credit Established-- Jan 2010[/size]



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